Case Details


Attorney General Control Of Litigation

Filing State



Nevada Supreme Court




International Game Technology, Inc. v. Second Judicial Dist. Court of Nevada, 127 P.3d 1088 (Nev. 2006).


Attorney General may intervene in state qui tam case to seek dismissal.

Case Description

A whistleblower filed a qui tam suit under the Nevada False Claims Act The Attorney General initially declined the case, then intervened and sought dismissal.A Nevada statute stated that the Attorney General could only intervene after initially declining if the interest of the state in recovering the money claimed is not being adequately represented by the plaintiff. Plaintiffs argued that the Attorney General could only intervene to continue the case, not dismiss it. The court disagreed, saying that separation of powers issues were raised by a situation under which the legislative branch placed conditions on the prosecutorial actions of the executive branch. The court held, ”Even after intervention, any subsequent motion to dismiss the action for good cause necessarily implicates the State’s interests and the executive branch’s prosecutorial discretion.” The court articulated a test based on a California Appeals Court decision, under which “once a legitimate reason for dismissal has been proffered, the burden shifts to the private plaintiff to demonstrate that the reason is arbitrary, capricious, made in bad faith, based on improper or illegal motives, founded on inadequate investigation, or pretextual.” Applying this standard, the court found that the Attorney General articulated a legitimate government purpose for dismissing the actions, and his conduct in so doing was not shown to be improper. The actions were dismissed.